"Oh, how very funny—how—how unpleasant. Did you tell papa about that when he arranged to send me here?"By this time the preparations for the Fancy Fair were in active progress. Janet May had obtained her own wish with regard to the Committee, each member of which was allowed to choose a band of workers under herself, to make articles for the coming sale.
"Oh, goodness—no, I mustn't—mercy! nor that either; oh, I—I say, Mrs. Freeman, don't let the new dresses be frumpy, or I'll break my heart. I do so adore looking at myself in a lovely dress."
Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room.
"Well, it's a very fine sort of place, as free and easy as you please; lots of fishing in the lakes and in the rivers. I'm very fond of my gun, too. Can you handle a gun, Mrs. Freeman? It kicks rather, if you can't manage it."
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After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head.
Although the booming sound of the great gong filled the air, the supper to which the head girls of the school were now going was a very simple affair. It consisted of milk placed in great jugs at intervals down the long table, of fruit both cooked and uncooked, and large plates of bread and butter."I hope not, Bridget."Mrs. Freeman could not help uttering a faint, inward sigh.Dorothy, Ruth, and Olive had now come into the schoolroom, and had taken their places by Janet's side. She gave them a quick look, in which considerable aversion to the newcomer was plainly visible, then turned her head and gazed languidly out of the window.
"Don't shake me so, Vi, my honey; I'm coming to the exciting place—now then. Well, as I was going up the stairs all quite lonely, and by myself, never a soul within half a mile of me——""Never mind, it is the correct thing to do. In a matter of this kind we are nothing if we are not businesslike. Now, who is coming to interrupt us?""We won't discuss the whys nor the wherefores; the fact remains that I do dislike her."
"What does Janet mean?" Bridget would whisper to her nearest companion. "Is she saying something awfully clever? I'm sorry that I'm stupid—I don't quite catch her meaning."